ITP Support Association

Splenosis anyone?

This is for all those who have had splenectomies.......have you ever heard of this?

Splenosis is a benign condition where nodules or "mini-spleens" can form from fragments of splenic material left behind, following a splenectomy. They often occur when a patient has undergone an emergency splenectomy as a result of rupture or trauma, but can sometimes occur in those who had an elective splenectomy (like some of us ITP peeps) too. I emphasise they are benign, and rarely cause any problems, or symptoms, and are pretty harmless. They are not to be confused with accessory spleens, which are something else entirely.

Splenosis cannot usually be detectable by feel, so most peeps do not know they have them.

They do, however, show up as 'undetermined' masses during CT/MRI scans, usually for other medical investigations, which then leads to referral to Oncology/Cancer unit for further scans/biopsy, and basically scares the bejeebers out of you!

Soooooo, if you are ever in the awful situation of being investigated within an oncology unit following a mass or masses being picked up during an abdominal (sometimes even thoracic) scan, and have had a splenectomy anytime in the past (mine was 25 years ago), it is definitely worth asking about the possibility of Splenosis, it may just save you from a whole load of anxiety 😱

I wish I had known this 3 months ago, I would have few less grey hairs!



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